The question everyone is asking in the fitness industry in china……how to lose weight!
Weightloss, this is one of the most commonly requested goal I hear from clients. 9 out of every 10 clients will say they want to lose weight for aesthetic purposes. Working in China has opened up my eyes dramatically to peoples perception of what weight loss means. I feel it is reminiscent of stepping back in time when the fitness industry was doing SlimFast and Jane Fonda workouts. Great that people are moving more and changing up their food choices, but it could be so much better with edcuation about exercise and nutirition.
I am based in the capital, Beijing, and the fitness scene is very new here. It’s a mix of Bodybuilding aspirations for males and skinny waists and hips for females. I am seeing fitness fad classes in which you would hate to watch let alone partake in. This is all down to the education around the fitness industry and trainers along with the public. This culture change will take a significantly long time. That’s cool though, in China everything moves so quickly and industry will change for the better. Hopefully, the iPhone knee and A4 abs will be obsolete soon. I couldn’t believe what this was when I found out and will discuss later.
Anyway, the client that wants weight loss is motivated enough to turn up, the skill then is to then motivate change and not just change of exercise, but a change to their current lifestyle. This is by far the hardest part I have found with Personal Training.
Change is something that a lot of us find very difficult to achieve because it requires self-discipline. If you expect your clients to change because you have told them to, it will set you and them up for failure. You should set them up for success and I would recommend you to read The Power of Less which helps you set short, medium and long-term goals. This has helped significantly with not only Atkins, but other areas of life too. You start with small measurable goals and go from there. The book is really worth a read through as it’s a step by step guide on how to.
I implemented this goal setting technique with the Atkins diet. I’m now in a routine and life feels normal, eating around 20-40g of carbs a day is easy going and this was all helped through the simple goal setting routine. I have also suggested something similar with other clients with success.
Coming from a strength and conditioning background, according to the people in the industry, training people for weight loss seems like I have hit an all-time low in my profession. However, having the ability to actually get people change habits on their own terms would significantly improve any athletes potential. In S&C marginal gains are always what you’re after, and having the ability to improve their self-discipline, you could find an abundance of them. Instead of barking orders at your athletes in a leader-follower role, empower them, get them to come up with the answers and you will find change happens easier and quicker for you. Read this book, Turn The Ship Around. Athletes you train may stop shoveling pizza and other junk food into their body once you show them how to change.
I realise this is a lot easier said than done, and I am always learning how to improve this.
So, the iPhone knee….This is where females want to put their phone on top of their knee so they can’t see any leg behind the phone. This has been used by girls as a measure of sexy and skinny!
The A4 Abs is a simular one…..females don’t want to see their stomach behind a vertically held piece of A4 paper.
Crazy I know.